Decided to top up a Blade and Shaving Cream order with a big plastic bottle of this.
Glad, I did as it carries all the fond Masculine scent characteristics of Green and Brown Bitterness of Herbs, Leather and Resins. It is reminiscent, for me, of Leonard Pour Homme in the way it draws my attention to Late Fall
"All the Leaves are Brown...."
After a few minutes on the skin a spicy caramel warms my heart.
For the price and due to it's rather short overt performance, it's a no brainer to slather it thick. Hey! it's an Aftershave. Whatya expect.
Lovely and Nostalgic!
Rich darkish leather - this is one this one starts off. A dark and serious leather, bit not harsh and with a certain smoothness, but not having really any suede characteristics. I do not get any any tar or gasoline here, but what I get is a beautiful darkish oak moss that merges with the leather beautifully. Whiffs if labdanum are also present. Imagine an attenuated version of Knize Ten without any tar or gasoline.
Other nuances develop in the drydown. Starting with slightly minty undertones, some spices develop - sit and slightly sweet cloves mainly with touches of brandy butter.
I get moderate sillage, good projection and four hours of longevity on my skin.
A delight in leather - an autumnal leather that is unusual in combining a dark and serious leather with a sublime sweetish softness al a later stage. The longevity is poor, but acceptable for and After Shave - this is the only form this is sold in. 3.75/5.
Pinaud Clubman Special Reserve, In a nutshell a real mans scent. Leather, cedar, clove, Sen Sen mints (for those old enough to remember)and almost a hint of butterscotch. This is what the boss of a speakeasy would smell like, sitting in a over stuffed leather chair wearing a fedora chewing on cigar sipping scotch. What Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca would have smelled like. It's raw, an in your face punch in the jaw scent that mellows out to a spicy warm leather. This is one that you will either love or hate.
I for one love it.
Nobody knows who made this, and nobody knows when it came out, but by gosh this is one Hell of a leather! I honestly would have never pegged this as a Pinaud "plastic bottle" drugstore scent if it was decanted and given to me as a sample! Clubman Pinaud Special Reserve gets a lot of hype, and I'm notoriously against hype, as it usually conflagrates expectations to the point that something can't possibly meet them, but I will say that this is one rare case where the hype is actually deserved. There's a lot of talk that this is "uber macho" and a "real man's scent, unapologetic and unforgiving" blah blah blah, which is one part of the hype which I don't buy into, at all. Special Reserve is still a $9 Clubman Pinaud fragrance in a plastic bottle, so it has a little higher sillage and performance than the usual Clubman, but still just about average at most. What one does get in this humble plastic bottle is a deep, dry, aromatic leather scent that rests somewhere between the petrol leathers inspired by Knize Ten (1924) and the green leather chypres of the 70's like Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme (1978)
Clubman Pinaud Special Reserve opens with aldehydes that rush in a rough, dark, rawhide leather. There's prerequisite bergamot here, but it's not dressed in lemon or mandarin orange, and just adds to the intense leather opening with it's bitter brutality. This fat aldehydic leather is eventually followed with cedar, basil and sage. The base is relatively simple, with oakmoss, cistus labadanum, and vetiver. There is almost nothing sweet here, not even one iota outside whatever animalic sweetness the petrol leather note gives. The scent holds no punches, and goes in swinging with leather, herbs, and a tart chypre base all in one fell swoop. The only bit of complaint here is the slight linearity of it, since the stuff shows it's hand early then just rests on it's strengths with little development, very brute-force, which might be the reason for the "macho" claims from other reviewers. I do get a bit of correlation with Bogart Eau de Toilette Pour Homme/Signature (1975) now and then, but haven't smelled "Vintage" Tabaróme by Creed (1875) to confirm that this is like it.
Clubman Pinaud Special Reserve is the ultimate guilty pleasure for the intense leather fan, because unlike most of the breed's best creations, Special Reserve isn't some long-discontinued overpriced unicorn driven up another $50 every time someone gives it a good review on Basenotes (I'm onto you jerks), or a rarefied niche creation that makes you feel guilt for spraying away the price of a Starbucks coffee with each milliliter you apply. Instead, we get a dry, uncompromisingly authentic leather that can be splashed with utter abandon since it's cheaper than a bottle of Avon from Aunt May. Granted, we're only looking at maybe 5 hours of wear time and with barely moderate sillage, but something this unfettered is best enjoyed in small doses and in personal spaces rather than amongst the public unawares. If you really need a leather of this type but of significant power, there's always something like the vintage English Leather (1949), Peau d'Espagne (1902), or vintage Bel Ami (1986), but none of those are easy or cheap options for a little extra projection and wear time, so just reapply the Pinaud. Impressive leather smell for the price and definitely one of the best Pinauds, deserving of it's fanbase!
Finally! Thank God! after trying so many fragrances that want you so much to like them (and for others to like them), here comes something that doesn't give a damn whether you like it or not.
I grew up in the 90's. I was 20 in 2000. I got the full-on metrosexual experience. I'm glad honestly. It made me a man ready for modern times. But the fragrances! CK One was a one size fits all and it was everywhere. I never cared for it and the sweet on sweet scents that followed long after.
Pinaud Clubman Special Reserve is the antidote to all that. It is a MAN scent that doesn't pull any punches. You get tobacco, leather with a capital L, cedar. It comes together as something rather dark and smokey. There's a sweetness in there, but it's elusive. It isn't going to charm you in the way you expect. It doesn't come to you. You come to it.
I don't think there is a woman on earth that would wear this. But many will like it very much. They'll appreciate you taking a stand for your masculinity, especially if you show courtesy in your behavior. I can see wearing this as a rather nice gentleman as being a one-two punch that'll drive a woman wild.
The best of the Pinaud line. For a cologne it has great longevity. Very heavy on the leather and spice. Proper old school man smell. Not one I wear everyday but when I do it makes me want to go hunting with my bare hands!!